Folly Beach city leaders discussing safety changes along Arctic Avenue

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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Folly Beach city leaders are discussing how to make a busy street safer for people walking biking or driving close to the beach and now, they are looking to hire traffic engineers to help implement these changes.

Arctic Avenue runs 15 blocks parallel to the water and has restaurants, homes, parking lots and the Folly Beach Pier itself. Local residents say these changes are needed quickly as the area keeps growing.

“This is where accidents are happening and we need to put some type of stop,” says Gregory Bunn, who works at Rita’s on Folly Beach.

Bunn has lived in the area for almost 8 years and he says the busy summer months brings heavy car and foot traffic, especially the first five blocks of the road.

“I’ve seen plenty of people almost get hit. I’ve had friends definitely get hit, not seriously injured but enough to merit it as an issue,” says Bunn.

The City of Folly Beach is seeking help from traffic engineers across the Lowcountry to work on how well traffic and safety conditions move down Arctic Avenue. Aaron Pope, the city’s administrator says they want pedestrian, car and foot traffic looked at between January and April, as well as during the busy summer season.

“Do we need to increase parking spaces, sidewalks, or change it to one lane?” Pope says.

Bunn says he thinks crosswalks to signal drivers of when people are crossing the streets would be the most effective for the area.

“From personal experience, I have been stuck in-between the two lanes with a car that see’s the lights or just doesn’t care about them,” says Bunn.

Bunn says as the Charleston area grows, city leaders should keep accommodating with the change to keep Folly Beach at its safest.

“There’s going to be more and more people here every year, and its been that way since I was a kid. You can’t have it be one permanent static thing, it will have to change each coming year,” Bunn says.

Folly Beach City Council hopes to have the traffic engineers report completed by the end of the 2022 summer season.

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